Scientists have announced they are now able to 'film' the brain as it forms memories.

Scientists have announced they are now able to 'film' the brain as it forms memories.

Researchers were able to give mRNA molecules, which are crucial to forming memories, fluorescent "tags", so they could be watched more easily.

The breakthrough technique means that scientists were able to look inside neurons without destroying them.

This so-called 'mouse model', developed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at at Yeshiva University, could lead to a range of new studies of how the brain works and forms memories.

"It's noteworthy that we were able to develop this mouse without having to use an artificial gene or other interventions that might have disrupted neurons and called our findings into question," said Robert Singer, author of the two papers published in Nature.

The mice were not affected by the green proteins attached to the mRNA molecules, and were able to reproduce the authors said.

MedicalXpress has the detail about how the study was done, but the team also released the following video - apparently of memories directly in the process of being formed.

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  • Carnivorous plant -- open trap of the aquatic carnivorous plant humped bladderwort (Utricularia gibba). Photo by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz, a neurobiologist at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Farm Research Campus

  • Bat embryo -- this micrograph shows a black mastiff bat embryo (Molossus rufus), at the "Peek-a-boo" stage of development, when its wings have grown to cover its eyes. Photo by Dorit Hockman

  • Green algae -- this composite image shows a collection of single-cell freshwater algae, called Desmids. Photo by Dr. Igor Siwanowicz

  • Lily flower -- stained transverse section of the flower bud. Photo by Spike Walker

  • Mouse cells -- embryonic fibroblasts showing the actin filaments (red) and DNA (blue). Photo by Dr. Dylan Burnette

  • Brother bugs -- two box bugs, Gonocerus acuteangulatus, at just two hours old. Photo by Kurt Wirz

  • Phantom midge larva -- Chaoborus, also known as "Glassworm." Photo by Charles Krebs

  • Mouse tail -- with hair follicle stem cells. Photo by Dr. Yaron Fuchs

  • Head and legs of a caddisfly larva -- a European and North American genus of insects whose larvae live in fresh water, in gravel, stones or sand. Photo by Fabrice Parais

  • Paramecium -- a one-celled organism that lives in fresh water. Photo by Ralph Grimm